Friday, September 16, 2005

None Of This Really Means Much, But...

I could not help note the coincidence of three news stories in the last couple of days that are sure to have liberal Catholics' heads doing 360 degree turns, and guacamole spitting out their mouths:

Homosexuality and dissent targeted by Apostolic Visitation of US Seminaries.

Pope Benedict may widen availability of the traditional Latin Mass (this is Father Tucker's take on an article that seems very vague and general, and not at all definative). I respect Eamon Duffy's views. In fact, I'm about halfway through with The Stripping of the Altars, his work about Medieval English Catholicism, and the destructiveness of the Reformation. It is an excellently written, thoroughly researched treatment of the topic.

Pope Benedict blesses statue of the founder of Opus Dei.

None of it really means a whole lot. The proof is in the pudding as far as the visitation is concerned (though it is certainly nice to see something like momentum on the right side for a change).

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Our Lady Of Sorrows

The Seven Sorrows of Our Blessed Lady
1. The prophecy of Simeon.
2. The flight into Egypt.
3. The loss of the Child Jesus in the temple.
4. The meeting of Jesus and Mary on the Way of the Cross.
5. The Crucifixion.
6. The taking down of the Body of Jesus from the Cross.
7. The burial of Jesus.

Here are seven graces the Blessed Virgin Mary grants to souls who honor Her daily by saying seven Hail Marys (one for each of her Sorrows or Dolors) and meditating on Her tears and Dolors. The devotion was passed to us by Saint Bridget.

1. I will grant peace to their families.

2. They will be enlightened about the divine mysteries.

3. I will console them in their pains and I will accompany them in their work.

4. I will give them as much as they ask for as long as it does not oppose the Adorable Will of my Divine Son or the sanctification of their souls.

5. I will defend them in their spiritual battles with the infernal enemy and I will protect them at every instant of their lives.

6. I will visibly help them at the moment of their death, they will see the face of their mother.

7. I have obtained (this Grace) from my Divine Son, that those who propagate this devotion to my tears and Dolors, will be taken directly from this earthly life to eternal happiness since all their sins will be forgiven and my Son will be their eternal consolation and joy.

Litany of the Seven Dolors
(Composed by Pope Pius VII, but for private use only)
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, Have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Pray for us.
Holy Mother of God, Pray for us.
Holy Virgin of virgins, Pray for us.
Mother crucified, Pray for us.
Mother sorrowful, Pray for us.
Mother tearful, Pray for us.
Mother afflicted, Pray for us.
Mother forsaken, Pray for us.
Mother desolate, Pray for us.
Mother bereft of thy Child, Pray for us.
Mother transfixed with the sword, Pray for us.
Mother consumed with grief, Pray for us.
Mother filled with anguish, Pray for us.
Mother crucified in heart, Pray for us.
Mother most sad, Pray for us.
Fountain of tears, Pray for us.
Abyss of suffering, Pray for us.
Mirror of patience, Pray for us.
Rock of constancy, Pray for us.
Anchor of confidence, Pray for us.
Refuge of the forsaken, Pray for us.
Shield of the oppressed, Pray for us.
Subduer of the unbelieving, Pray for us.
Comfort of the afflicted, Pray for us.
Medicine of the sick, Pray for us.
Strength of the weak, Pray for us.
Harbor of the wrecked, Pray for us.
Allayer of tempests, Pray for us.
Resource of mourners, Pray for us.
Terror of the treacherous, Pray for us.
Treasure of the faithful, Pray for us.
Eye of the Prophets, Pray for us.
Staff of the Apostles, Pray for us.
Crown of Martyrs, Pray for us.
Light of confessors, Pray for us.
Pearl of virgins, Pray for us.
Consolation of widows, Pray for us.
Joy of all Saints, Pray for us.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, Have mercy on us.

Look down upon us, deliver us, and save us from all trouble, in the power of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray:
Imprint, O Lady, thy wounds upon my heart, that I may read therein sorrow and love---sorrow to endure every sorrow for thee, love to despise every love for thee. Amen.

Pray 1 Apostles Creed, 1 Hail Holy Queen, and 3 Hail Mary's,
in honor of the Most Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Stabat Mater Dolorosa
(Authorship unknown, but often attributed to Pope Innocent III or to Saint Bonaventure, or to Jacopone da Todi. Translation by Father Edward Caswell, whose translations of the O Salutaris and Tantum Ergo are standard for Exposition and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament)

At, the Cross her station keeping,
stood the mournful Mother weeping,
close to Jesus to the last.

Through her heart, His sorrow sharing,
all His bitter anguish bearing,
now at length the sword has passed.

O how sad and sore distressed
was that Mother, highly blest,
of the sole-begotten One.

Christ above in torment hangs,
she beneath beholds the pangs
of her dying glorious Son.

Is there one who would not weep,
whelmed in miseries so deep,
Christ's dear Mother to behold?

Can the human heart refrain
from partaking in her pain,
in that Mother's pain untold?

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
she beheld her tender Child
All with scourges rent:

For the sins of His own nation,
saw Him hang in desolation,
Till His spirit forth He sent.

O thou Mother! fount of love!
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother! pierce me through,
in my heart each wound renew
of my Savior crucified:

Let me share with thee His pain,
who for all my sins was slain,
who for me in torments died.

Let me mingle tears with thee,
mourning Him who mourned for me,
all the days that I may live:

By the Cross with thee to stay,
there with thee to weep and pray,
is all I ask of the to give.

Virgin of all virgins blest!,
Listen to my fond request:
let me share thy grief divine;

Let me, to my latest breath,
in my body bear the death
of that dying Son of thine.

Wounded with His every wound,
steep my soul till it hath swooned,
in His very Blood away;

Be to me, O Virgin, nigh,
lest in flames I burn and die,
in His awful Judgment Day.

Christ, when Thou shalt call me hence,
by Thy Mother my defense,
by Thy Cross my victory;

While my body here decays,
may my soul Thy goodness praise,
safe in paradise with Thee.

Novena To Our Sorrowful Mother
O Most Holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs!
Who stood beneath the cross, witnessing the agony of thy dying Son,
look down with a mother’s tenderness and pity on us
as we kneel before thee to venerate thy Dolors,
and place our requests, with child-like confidence,
in the sanctuary of thy wounded heart.
Present them on our behalf to Jesus,
through the merits of His most sacred Passion and Death,
together with thy sufferings at the foot of the cross,
and through the united efficacy of both,
obtain the favor which we humbly ask.
State petition here)
To whom shall we go in our wants and miseries
if not to thee?
O Mother of Mercy,
who having so deeply drunk
of the chalice of thy Son,
graciously alleviate the sufferings
of those who still sigh in this land of exile.

Virgin Most Sorrowful, pray for us. (Seven times)

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.

Many more prayers to Our Sorrowful Mother can be found here at the 2 Hearts Network.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Come Rack! Come Rope!

The churches were confiscated by the government. Not going to government-approved services was against the law, punishable by fine or imprisonment. You could not possess the sacred vessels used at a Catholic Mass. Harboring a priest might get you jailed or even executed. Just being a Catholic priest and being in the country meant you might very well be hunted by law enforcement agents aided by paid government informers. And if the priest was caught, it was very likely that he would be tortured to make him abjure the Faith or implicate others, then hanged until numb, split stem to stern and his intestines cut out and burned before his eyes, his heart cut out, his head cut off, his limbs quartered (either by being chopped off or pulled apart by horses) and the parts, especially the head, stuck on pikes to rot in some prominent public place.

No, not in Communist China, but in Elizabethan England.

This is the subject matter of Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson's Come Rack! Come Rope!, written back in 1912. It is difficult to review a book written almost a century ago. But this is one that is very likely not familiar to American Catholics here in the early 21st century, and ought to be. John from The Inn At the End Of the World has pointed out that it is available through Neumann Press (looks like a lovely edition, too). I think Monsignor Benson's work could stand a revival of interest today.

We have it so easy practicing the Faith throughout the English-speaking world today. We openly go to Mass. We openly send children to Catholic schools or school them at home. We have no fear in proclaiming ourselves Catholics. Only the very liberal cringe in fear of reaction when they say they are Catholic.

But there are signs that our two-hundred years of relative peace may be coming to an end. There are open calls for government control of the Catholic Church in Canada. The Church's teachings are in unswerving and unchangeable conflict with the prevailing liberal zeitgeist on issues like homosexuality, gay "marriages," abortion, extra-marital sex, divorce, birth control, euthanasia, cloning, embryonic stem cell research. As Church and state (as represented by the liberal elites which seem to get their way on these social issues whenever they want) clash more and more, you can expect the freedom of the Faith to be restricted. Even just proclaiming what the truth (which is what the Roman Catholic Church teaches) about homosexuality is considered "hate speech" in the UK and Canada. And this time there are no Skellig Michaels where it will be safe to hide until all is well. There will be no priest hole secure enough to keep the government out.

So maybe it is not a bad idea to look back on how the Faith survived in penal times, when it was actively persecuted by the state and the majority of the population. Maybe we can take some cues from how Catholics got through the vicious persecution.

The key was not the disguises, or the assumed names, or the priest holes, or the networks of faithful Catholics who supported the priests (though they were invaluable). It was the priests themselves, who risked their lives to bring the Sacraments to the faithful, and often paid the price of horrific martyrdom. These good orthodox priests all valued their communion with Rome higher than the civil offices, honors, and property they left behind to become seminarians at Doaui and at Rheims. They valued it enough to die for it.

It was the blood of those martyrs at Tyburn and so many other places that nourished the Faith. They were heroes, who Catholic youth could look up to and try to emulate. Saint Edmund Campion is perhaps the best known of the recusant priests martyred under Elizabeth. And Benson portrays him as heroic and admirable, dashing and brilliant indeed. But so many others died for the Faith as priests in England that singling him out would not be fair to their blessed memory. Their martyrdoms watered the tree of the Faith. Their memories kept Catholicism in England alive through more than 150 years of heavy persecution, and a period of lingering hostility thereafter.

Benson recognizes this. Campion is there, but so are so many other martyred priests. In fact, the central character, Mr. Robin Audrey, is fictional. In fact, that was probably the best way to handle this subject, with a fictional hero, one that would be representative of the whole mass of priest martyrs of England, and not usurp the glory of any.

Benson is skilled in his plot. The action develops nicely. His characters are drwn well and sympathetic. On occasion, he telegraphs a trifle too much of what is to happen next. By emphasizing the peace and tranquility at certain times, the reader knows that Benson is about to break it. And on more than one occasion, the emotions overcome his characters so that they are not able to prevent catastrophe, where rational, real-life people would be able to sort things out better.

There is little sense that one is reading a book written by a Victorian (born about 10 years before my grandfather, who was born the same year as Monsignor Knox, who was reading Benson after he made the final decision to "pope"). The book is family-friendly, but not prudish.

Here is a brief biography of Monsignor Benson (who, by the way was a convert, the son of the Archbishop of Canterbury!).

It would be an excellent thing to see some Catholic publisher purchase the rights to this and Benson's other novels, and re-issue them today.

Prayers For the Holy Cross

Per Signum Crucis
By the sign of the cross deliver us from our enemies, O our God.
(While making the Sign of the Cross)
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

Salve Me, Sancta Crux (attributed to Saint Anselm)
Save me, O Holy Cross, which art consecrated with the body of Christ and ornamented, just as if by pearls, from this union with His limbs. Thou hast been made worthy to carry the Ransom of our salvation and hast displayed eternal life to us. O good Jesus, grant to me that through the reparation and mark of Thy Holy Cross, Thou willst free me from the incursions of all my enemies, preserve me in Thy goodness, absolve me of my sins, and grant me forgiveness, Thou who livest and reignest, One God world without end.

O Bona Crux (from The Golden Legend)
O good Cross, beautified by the Body of the Lord, for a long time have I desired thee, ardently have I loved thee, unendingly have I sought thee, and now thou art prepared for my eager soul. Receive me from among men and restore me to my Master, so that He, who redeemed me through thee, shalt receive me through thee.

Adesto Nobis (the PostCommunion Prayer for today from the 1962 Missal)
Assist us, O Lord our God, and defend us evermore by the might of Thy holy Cross, in whose honor Thou makest us to rejoice. Through Christ our Lord.

Commemoration Of the Cross (Roman Breviary)
He bore the Holy Cross, which broke the power of hell. He was girded with power. He rose again the third day.
V. Say ye among the nations, Alleluia.
R. That the Lord hath reigned from the tree. Alleluia.
Let us pray:
O God, who didst desire that Thy Son should undergo for us the shame of the Cross, that Thou mightest drive away from us the power of the enemy, grant unto us, Thy servants, to be made partakers of the grace of the resurrection. Through our Lord Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with Thee and the Holy ghost, One God, world without end.
V. The Lord be with thee.
R. And with thy spirit.
V. Let us bless the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.
V. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
R. Amen.
(say the Our Father silently)
V. May the Lord grant us His peace.
R. And life everlasting.
R. Amen.

Collect of the Votive Mass of the Holy Cross
O God, Who didst will to hallow the standard of the life-giving Cross by the Most Precious Blood of Thine only-begotten Son, grant, we beseech Thee, that they who rejoice in honoring the same Holy Cross, may rejoice also in Thine ever-present protection. Through the same Christ our Lord.

Indulgenced Prayer Before A Crucifix
Behold, O good and most sweet Jesus, I cast myself upon my knees in Thy sight, and with most fervent desire of soul, I pray and beseech Thee to impress upon my heart lively sentiments of faith, hope, and charity, with true repentance for my sins and a most firm resolve to make amends. Whilst with deep affection and grief of soul I consider within myself and mentally contemplate Thy five most precious Wounds, having before mine eyes that which the Prophet David, spoke concerning Thee, my Jesus: "They have pierced My hands and My feet; they have numbered all My bones." [Psalm 21, 17, 18].

Thesaurus Preces Latinarum provides the Hours of the Holy Cross from a medieval Book of Hours (use of Rome)

Saint Helena and the True Cross

The Catholic Encyclopedia Has this to say about the True Cross.
The Golden Legend on the "Invention of the True Cross"
Wikipedia has an extensive discussion of the True Cross

Exaltation Of the Cross

I don't know the provenance of this relic of the True Cross

This one has a history involving Reformation England:
The "relic of the true cross" was brought from England by Fr. Andrew White, S.J. in 1634. He wore it around his neck in a silver and glass case, which was specially made for the relic.

This one, ornamented with pearls and other stones, is at the cathedral at Tournai.

The reliquary on the left contains a relic of the True Cross

Cross-shaped relic, provenance unknown

Crucifix-reliquary from the Guardians Of Holy Relics

Iconic reliquary that once held a fragment of the True Cross

Relic of the True Cross held by The Ambassadors of Mary, in Chicago

Relic of the True Cross possessed by Saint Hilarion Orthodox Monastery, Diocese of Texas

Relic of the True Cross From Waterford

Alleged relic of the True Cross sold on eBay

Gilded wooden cross, supposed to contain a relic from the True Cross from Castelnau de Montmiral, France

Relic of the True Cross that was part of the Knights of Columbus exhibition of relics of the Passion this past Lent.

Veneration of a relic of the True Cross on Good Friday, Saint Clement's, Philadelphia

Relic of the True Cross from Holy Cross Cathedral, Boston, a gift from the Abbe de la Poterie, who celebrated Boston’s first public Mass in 1788

"In 1870 a Frenchman, Rohault de Fleury, catalogued all the relics of the True Cross including relics that were said to have existed but were lost. He measured the existing relics and estimated the volume of the missing ones. Then he added up the figures and discovered that the fragments, if glued together, would not have made up more than one-third of a cross."

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Fall Is Almost Here

We have been basking in warm, sunny, and extremely pleasant late-summer weather for the last three weeks, but Fall is almost here.

And Fall in New England means foliage.

The Foliage Network is the best system for tracking the progress of New England's magnificent autumnal transformation. And I have included it in the "News From the Hub Of the Universe" link category at the right for easy use.

So far, foliage has been slow this year, but some cold nights might change all that.

Foliage talk? I think this calls for some fresh cider. Don't you?

Ophelia May Pay New England A Visit Thursday Or Friday

It may even be in hurricane strength when it gets here.

Check out updated local forecasts.

Loving Fathers Don't Let Their Boys Play Sissy Games Like Soccer

Der Tommissar provides a projected dialogue on the topic. Baseball and football are the ways to Heaven.


Don't Forget

Please give to the Saint Vincent de Paul Society's hurricane relief effort.

Today's Catholic Cultural Heritage

Orvieto Cathedral, Part II: The San Brizio Chapel

Entrance to S. Brizio Chapel.

Signorelli, The Rule of the Anti-Christ

Signorelli, The Resurrection of the Dead

Signorelli, Heaven and Hell

Signorelli, The Damned

Signorelli, The Elect

A Badly Used Church

Catholic Church Conservation uncovers the sacriligious abuse of a lovely baroque church in Graz, Austria.

Seems as if the Catholic Euroweenies, even when they are not bulldozing churches, turning them into condos, theaters, art galleries, and trendy shops, or simply wreck-o-vating them on the American model, are incapable of properly using the rich Catholic cultural heritage that has been passed down to them and which they are supposed to be preserving, nurturing, and passing on to the next generation.

What are they passign on? A totally secular society and schlocky "worship space displays."

Sad beyond words.

Archbishop O'Brien Is On the Right Track

The man heading up the Apostolic Visitation of US seminaries believes that even celibate homosexuals do not belong in US seminaries.

He left some wiggle room: "Strong homosexual inclinations."

And, of course, he is only the one overseeing this visitation. He will not be passing judgment on every seminary personally: there will be teams of inspectors, and I suspect that the composition of the teams will be very mixed, so that some seminaries where dissent and homosexuality are still rampant (they go together, the one feeding the other) will escape serious critical scrutiny.

Would that the visitation had come suddenly and unannounced. No time to play "hide the Dorothys." No time to spruce things up and order new books. It would have been better had the inspectors actually seen things as they really are on a day-to-day basis, not how the bishop and his seminary team want them to look for Vatican inspectors. Then heads that need to come off would really roll!

Saint John Chrysostum

Doctor of the Church. The greatest of the Greek doctors.

The Golden Legend

He had this to say to people who like to chat and socialize in church:

When you are before the altar where Christ reposes, you ought no longer to think that you are amongst men; but believe that there are troops of angels and archangels standing by you, and trembling with respect before the sovereign Master of Heaven and earth. Therefore, when you are in church, be there in silence, fear, and veneration.

Saint John Chrysostom

Requiescat In Pace

My heart wants to break about this one. Little Susan Torres, the little girl for whose birth her mother Susan was kept alive after essentially dying, has died at the age of five weeks of a perforated intestine. She died on September 11th. How very, very sad.
Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord.
And mya perpetual light shine upon her.
May she rest in peace.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Bonus Images

Orvieto Cathedral:

Painting of Mary, Queen of Heaven

Cathedral West Facade

Close-up of Portal, West Facade


Judge Roberts' Confirmation Hearings Begin Today

No word on President Bush's second nomination yet. He may be waiting to see what the Senate Judiciary Committee does with Roberts' nomination, first, and the vote will not happen before September 20th.

Today's Catholic Cultural Heritage Image

"Image withdrawn at request of original poster." GTF
Relic of the veil of Our Blessed Lady

Catholic Doors Ministry supplied the image, but has little imformation on this relic.

The Eucharist And the Cross

The Holy Father's September 11th Angelus Address.

From Zenit.

The Litany Of Loreto

On this feast of Our Blessed Lady's Holy Name, here is the oldest of the approved litanies, the litany that gives many of her titles:

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us. Christ graciously hear us.

God, the Father of heaven, have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, pray for us.

Holy Mother of God, pray for us.

Holy Virgin of virgins, pray for us.

Mother of Christ, pray for us.

Mother of divine grace, pray for us.

Mother most pure, pray for us.

Mother most chaste, pray for us.

Mother inviolate, pray for us.

Mother undefiled, pray for us.

Mother most amiable, pray for us.

Mother most admirable, pray for us.

Mother of good counsel, pray for us.

Mother of our Creator, pray for us.

Mother of our Savior, pray for us.

Virgin most prudent, pray for us.

Virgin most venerable, pray for us.

Virgin most renouned, pray for us.

Virgin most powerful, pray for us.

Virgin most merciful, pray for us.

Virgin most faithful, pray for us.

Mirror of justice, pray for us.

Seat of wisdom, pray for us.

Cause of our joy, pray for us.

Spiritual vessel, pray for us.

Vessel of honor, pray for us.

Singular vessel of devotion, pray for us.

Mystical rose, pray for us.

Tower of David, pray for us.

Tower of ivory, pray for us.

House of gold, pray for us.

Ark of the covenant, pray for us.

Gate of heaven, pray for us.

Morning star, pray for us.

Health of the sick, pray for us.

Refuge of sinners, pray for us.

Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us.

Help of Christians, pray for us.

Queen of Angels, pray for us.

Queen of Patriarchs, pray for us.

Queen of Prophets, pray for us.

Queen of Apostles, pray for us.

Queen of Martyrs, pray for us.

Queen of Confessors, pray for us.

Queen of Virgins, pray for us.

Queen of all Saints, pray for us.

Queen conceived without original sin, pray for us.

Queen assumed into heaven, pray for us.

Queen of the most holy Rosary, pray for us.

Queen of Peace, pray for us.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
graciously hear us O Lord

Lamb of God, who takest away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.


Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord God, unto us Thy servants, that we may rejoice in continual health of mind and body; and, by the glorious intercession of Blessed Mary ever Virgin, may be delivered from present sadness, and enter into the joy of Thine eternal gladness. Through Chrsit our Lord. Amen.

St. Alphonsus de Liguori On The Holy Name of Mary

From The Glories Of Mary:
Richard of St. Laurence states "there is not such powerful help in any name, nor is there any other name given to men, after that of Jesus, from which so much salvation is poured forth upon men as from the name of Mary." He continues, "that the devout invocation of this sweet and holy name leads to the acquisition of superabundant graces in this life, and a very high degree of glory in the next."

After the most sacred name of Jesus, the name of Mary is so rich in every good thing, that on earth and in heaven there is no other from which devout souls receive so much grace, hope, and sweetness.

Hence Richard of St. Laurence encourages sinners to have recourse to this great name," because it alone will suffice to cure them of all their evils; and "there is no disorder, however malignant, that does not immediately yield to the power of the name of Mary." The Blessed Raymond Jordano says, "that however hardened and diffident a heart may be, the name of this most Blessed Virgin has such efficacy, that if it is only pronounced that heart will be wonderfully softened." Moreover, it is well known, and is daily experienced by the clients of Mary, that her powerful name gives the particular strength necessary to overcome temptations against purity.

In fine, "thy name, 0 Mother of God, is filled with divine graces and blessings," as St. Methodius says. So much so, that St. Bonaventure declares, "that thy name, 0 Mary, cannot be pronounced without bringing some grace to him who does so devoutly.". . grant, 0 Lady, that we may often remember to name thee with love and confidence; for this practice either shows the possession of divine grace, or else is a pledge that we shall soon recover it.

On the other hand, Thomas a Kempis affirms "that the devils fear the Queen of heaven to such a degree, that only on hearing her great name pronounced, they fly from him who does so as from a burning fire." The Blessed Virgin herself revealed to St. Bridget "that there is not on earth a sinner, however devoid he may be of the love of God, from whom the devil is not obliged immediately to fly, if he invokes her holy name with a determination to repent." On another occasion she repeated the same thing to the saint, saying, "that all the devils venerate and fear her name to such a degree, that on hearing it they immediately loosen the claws with which they hold the soul captive." Our Blessed Lady also told St. Bridget, "that in the same way as the rebel angels fly from sinners who invoke the name of Mary, so also do the good angels approach nearer to just souls who pronounce her name with devotion."


Consoling indeed are the promises of help made by Jesus Christ to those who have devotion to the name of Mary; for one day in the hearing of St. Bridget, He promised His most holy Mother that He would grant three special graces to those who invoke that holy name with confidence: first, that He would grant them perfect sorrow for their sins; secondly, that their crimes should be atoned for; and, thirdly, that He would give them strength to attain perfection, and at length the glory of paradise. And then our Divine Savior added: "For thy words, 0 My Mother, are so sweet and agreeable to Me, that I cannot deny what thou askest."

St. Ephrem goes so far as to say, "that the name of Mary is the key of the gates of heaven," in the hands of those who devoutly invoke it. And thus it is not without reason that St. Bonaventure says "that Mary is the salvation of all who call upon her." "0 most sweet name! 0 Mary, what must thou thyself be, since thy name alone is thus amiable and gracious," exclaims Blessed Henry Suso.

Let us, therefore, always take advantage of the beautiful advice given us by St. Bernard, in these words: "In dangers, in perplexities, in doubtful cases, think of Mary, call on Mary; let her not leave thy lips; let her not depart from thy heart."

Names of Jesus and Mary

In every danger of forfeiting divine grace, we should think of Mary, and invoke her name, together with that of Jesus; FOR THESE TWO NAMES ALWAYS GO TOGETHER. 0, then, never let us permit these two most sweet names to leave our hearts, or be off our lips; for they will give us strength not only not to yield, but to conquer all our temptations.

"The invocation of the sacred names of Jesus and Mary," says Thomas a Kempis, "is a short prayer which is as sweet to the mind, and as powerful to protect those who use it against the enemies of their salvation, as it is easy to remember."

Hour of Death

Thus we see that the most holy name of Mary is sweet indeed to her clients during life, on account of the very great graces that she obtains for them. But sweeter still will it be to them in death, on account of the tranquil and holy end that it will insure them.

Let us then, 0 devout reader, beg God to grant us, that at death the name of Mary may be the last word on our lips. This was the prayer of St. Germanus: "May the last movement of my tongue be to pronounce the name of the Mother of God;" 0 sweet, 0 safe is that death which is accompanied and protected by so saying a name; for God only grants the grace of invoking it to those whom He is about to save.

Father Sertorius Caputo, of the Society of Jesus, exhorted all who assist the dying frequently to pronounce the name of Mary; for this name of life and hope, when repeated at the hour of death, suffices to put the devils to flight, and to comfort such persons in their sufferings.

"Blessed is the man who loves thy name, 0 Mary" exclaims St. Bonaventure. "Yes, truly blessed is he who loves thy sweet name, 0 Mother of God! for," he continues, "thy name is so glorious and admirable, that no one who remembers it has any fears at the hour of death." Such is its power, that none of those who invoke it at the hour of death fear the assaults of their enemies.

St. Camillus de Lellis urged the members of his community to remind the dying often to utter the holy names of Jesus and Mary. Such was his custom when assisting people in their last hour.

Oh, that we may end our lives as did the Capuchin Father, Fulgentius of Ascoli, who expired singing, "0 Mary, 0 Mary, the most beautiful of creatures! let us depart together."

Let us conclude with the tender prayer of St. Bonaventure:

"I ask thee, 0 Mary, for the glory of thy name, to come and meet my soul when it is departing from this world, and to take it in thine arms."

The Most Holy Name of Mary

What Catholic Tradition has compiled on Our Blessed Lady's name.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I Think Medication Might Help

This guy is a loon.

How warped, twisted, insane! Just like a liberal. Logic means nothing. Facts mean nothing. All they care about is their ridiculous template of how the world works.

Remember September 11th

It was 4 years ago, on a lovely September day rather like this one, that the US was attacked in a time of peace by murderous Moslem terrorists. Around 3,000 civilians going about their business were butchered by foaming Bronze-Age barbarians jibbering a creed that the world has outgrown.

Since then, the US has ousted the Moslem terrorist-supporting regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq, and replaced them with consensual governments. The pro-Syrian government of Lebanon has fallen. Moslem terrorists in the Philippines are on the run. Iran is on the verge of popular anti-clericalist revolution. Both Iran and Syria now stare nervously down the barrels of Abrams tanks. The US is better positioned than it has ever been to deal with Iran, if necessary.

But there have been setbacks in the war as well. London and Madrid were hit with major attacks. Every day, American servicemen return from Iraq or Afghanistan as martyred heroes. Iraq in particular has become a honey trap for almost every armed Moslem fanatic in the world, and all too often they manage to kill one or more Americans. And there are new threats, and new traitors to deal with.

But the cause is righteous and just. It was just on September 11th. It was just when we used the Northern Alliance to bring down the Taliban. It was just when we rolled into Iraq. It will be just when the Iranian mullahs fall from power(whether they get a shove from the US Army or not), when the Assads in Syria are no more (ditto), and when Khadafy no longer controls Libya (also ditto). It is just every time a US or allied spy, special forces unit, or soldier eliminates one of these barbarians wherever they are tracked to.

The world will be better off, and the US can resume its peaceful purposes once the last fanatically anti-American Moslem militant has been effaced from the world. Whatever carping this or that outside influence might sound, the US will do what it has to do to prevent this from happening again. And it will not be the judgment of these outsiders, like France and Germany, on whom our security will rest, but our own. Like it or not, we are the world's polieman. There is no one else who can take on the role, and September 11th showed what price we pay when no one is playing it.

Four years ago today, the world stopped, and countless lives were changed in ways we cannot even begin to calculate. The war goes on. God bring rest for the dead, consolation for the widow and orphan, and victory to our arms.

God bless the USA!

Almighty, everlasting God, in whose hand are the powers and the government of every realm; look upon the Christian people to help them, that the heathen nations who trust in the fierceness of their own might, may be crushed by the power of Thy right hand. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ Thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God: world without end. Amen.

Collect of the Mass Against the Heathen

Hat tip to Marcus the Bard's Tales

All the Sports News You Need To Know

The Red Sox are 4 games ahead of New York, going into today's rubber game of the three game series in the Bronx. There are about 2 weeks left in the season. A win today (the Sox were trailing 1-0 in the 8th), would make it very tough for the Yankees to stage a comeback.

The BC Eagles blew out Army by almost 40 points.

The Patriots won their first game Thursday night. They play the Panthers (the what?) next Sunday.

The Saint John's Preparatory School Eagles played their first game against Peabody High Friday night, but I don't have a score for that yet.

And that is all the sports you need to know.

Still Working On the Template Images

I've restored the top of the page, the bottom of the page, and some of the images in the right-hand column.

When I was doing the bottom of the page, I decided to add extra images, and to rearrange. On the version of IE I'm using, the images are huge, so I no longer have them in pairs, but singly.

Today's Poignant Readings On Forgiveness

The First Reading:
From Sirach 28: 1-7 (Douai-Rheims Version)
He that seeketh to revenge himself, shall find vengeance from the Lord, and he will surely keep his sins in remembrance.
Forgive thy neighbour if he hath hurt thee: and then shall thy sins be forgiven to thee when thou prayest.
Man to man reserveth anger, and doth he seek remedy of God?
He hath no mercy on a man like himself, and doth he entreat for his own sins?
He that is but flesh, nourisheth anger, and doth he ask forgiveness of God? who shall obtain pardon for his sins?
Remember thy last things, and let enmity cease:
For corruption and death hang over in his commandments.

The Gospel
Matthew 18:21-35
Then came Peter unto him and said: Lord, how often shall my brother offend against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?
Jesus saith to him: I say not to thee, till seven times; but till seventy times seven times.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a king, who would take an account of his servants.
And when he had begun to take the account, one as brought to him, that owed him ten thousand talents.
And as he had not wherewith to pay it, his lord commanded that he should be sold, and his wife and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
But that servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And the lord of that servant being moved with pity, let him go and forgave him the debt.
But when that servant was gone out, he found one of his fellow-servants that owed him an hundred pence: and laying hold of him, he throttled him, saying: Pay what thou owest.
And his fellow-servant falling down, besought him, saying: Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he paid the debt.
Now his fellow servants seeing what was done, were very much grieved, and they came, and told their lord all that was done.
Then his lord called him: and said to him: Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all the debt, because thou besoughtest me:
Shouldst not thou then have had compassion also on thy fellow servant, even as I had compassion on thee?
And his lord being angry, delivered him to the torturers until he paid all the debt.
So also shall my heavenly Father do to you, if you forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

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